An Interview with a Golem

March 29, 2018

 

Ladies and gentlefolks, I have the privilege, nay the honour, to introduce my guest for today’s interview. He’s a formidable chap you may have heard of before, and he’s managed to spare a moment from the Hartlund civil war to talk to me. Weighing in at two tonnes, he’s the saviour of Hartlund, the scourge of the Malar Dorah, the destroyer extraordinaire, the stone stoic, the rumble with no crumble… it’s Task of Wind-Cut!

 

BG:

Welcome, Task, sir. Please make yourself comfortable. Thank you for joining me and agreeing to this interview.

 

T:

(Indiscernible grumble)

 

BG:

Let’s start with something simple. You grew up in Haspia, with Belerod and his Windtrickers. What are your memories of that place?

 

T:

I do not grow. The stone that made me makes me still. Golems are not born, nor do they age. Our maker gives us our form and that is how we stay until we are destroyed  My first memories are of Belerod, my first master and maker, finishing my construction. I felt a hot river flowing through me. I heard the howling of the winds the Windtrickers use to carve and shape our stone. I remember Belerod's voice. My first days were… confusing. Disordered.

 

BG:

And it wasn’t long before you were tearing things up in the Diamond Wars, putting your formidable powers into practice, was it?

 

T:

If by tearing things up, you mean defending the Khandri against the greed of the north, then yes. The northmen of the Accord started the war by claiming the Khandri diamond mines for themselves and thieving our wealth. The Harmony does not stand for invasion or war-mongering. We put our trust in the Hasp to defend the south. We trusted in Belerod and his creations. In me. In my stone brothers and sisters of Wind-Cut. The war claimed all but three of us, but the Harmony won through decades of toil and blood. It was my first war and I will never forget it.

 

BG:

What happened after the Diamond Wars? How did you eventually wind up here, four hundred years later, in Hartlund fighting for the General Dartridge and the Truehards?

 

T:

Belerod died a handful of years after the wars. A sickness took him, curling his bones and making of a skeleton of him before death came to take him. In his final days, the Windtrickers lost their ways without his lead, selling their creations and secrets to keep their wealth and importance. In desperation, I was sold to a Khandri prince who tested me against the Chanark. Paragon to a collector. Rise was taken by the very Accord he fought against. Decades passed. Centuries. I was sold wherever war raged fiercest. The Duelling Dozen. Lezembor. When my last master Ghoffi died, the Hartlund Truehards saw fit to buy me. Here I am, owned now by General Dartridge. Fighting for the losing side.

 

BG:

After so many years in the south and the Hinge of the World, what were your first impressions of The Six Islands of Hartlund?

 

T:

Cold. Wet. Miserable, and yet there is beauty beneath the mud and blood, if you spare the time to look for it. Nine years, this civil war of theirs has raged, and instead of sheathing swords they hire a real killer to finish it for them. This island is full of pompous skinbags that care nothing for the lessons of history.

 

BG:

Not a big fan then. Have you made any friends so far in the Truehard camp?

 

T:

A golem like me does not have the luxury of friends. I am normally feared, shunned, or merely tolerated. Though I have the shape of man, you skinbags do not see the man in me. Only machine. Or monster. Or murderer. Even if a human could stomach my company, I am here to do a job. To win yet another war for those that don’t deserve to win. Not to make friends. Though… a small girl here has been pestering me. She seems to have no fear of me. Most strange.

 

BG:

For all those interested in becoming an four hundred year-old war-golem, what kind of magic holds you together? What does it feel like to be made of stone?

 

T:

Belerod told me little except for that words have power, and when certain words come together, that power can grow and blossom. In my mouth resides a tongue of stone and words, which gives me my strength. It also binds me to my spell, and therefore to my master. The Windtrickers’ magic is an old one, already half-lost when I was created. Belerod was one of the last golem-builders in the Realm. As for how it feels… you might think me just plain stone, but through every touch, I feel a person’s soul. Dead or alive, I see their mind, their thoughts. It makes battle painful, raw, but that is my lot in life for being made broken.

 

BG:

Let’s get real here for a moment. What are the biggest odds you’ve faced in battle?

 

T:

(Another stony rumble) If you must know, I once stood alone against three thousand soldiers in the Duelling Dozen.

 

BG:

…And did you win?

 

T:

Naturally.

 

BG:

Well, I hear the battle horns starting to sound, so I had better leave you to it. You’ve got a lot of Last Fading skulls to split, no doubt. Where can our readers find out more about your story?

 

T:

Hmm. A lowly scribe has been chronicling this war. His journal has been dubbed The Heart of Stone by the soldiers, or so I hear. A golem has no time for such frivolities as books.

 

 

Find out more about Task and his story in my book The Heart of Stone.

 

 

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ABOUT BEN GALLEY

Ben Galley is an award-winning dark and epic fantasy author who currently hails from Victoria in Canada. Find out more:

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